Monday, March 15, 2010

AfterM*A*S*H Episode 16 - It Had To Be You

Season 1, Episode 16: It Had To Be You
Original Air Date: 1/23/84
Written by: Dennis Koenig, David Isaacs & Ken Levine

Directed by: Larry Gelbart

Father Mulcahy, Klinger, and Soon-Lee
show up at the Potter's house so they can all drive together to Iowa to attend Radar's wedding. But just as they open the door, they see a surprise guest...Radar!

Radar is nervous and disheveled. After he calms down, he explains to his old pals that last night, during his bachelor party, his oldest friend revealed that he slept with Radar's fiancee. Radar got so flustered and furious at the news he just took off, and headed straight for Col. Potter's house. He didn't even tell his fiancee Sandy, who is at the moment headed for the church, thinking the wedding is still on.

Col. Potter calls Radar's mother to reassure her, and word gets to Sandy, who calls Radar there, to his fury. He storms off, only to go as far as the Potters' front porch.

Father Mulcahy goes out to talk to him, and Radar shares with him how tough his life has been since he got back from Korea. His farm collapsed, and even though he got a big pay-off from the government, he felt like a failure. Radar even contemplated re-enlisting.

A few hours later, Col. Potter then tries talking to Radar, telling him to maybe give Sandy another chance. Soon after, Radar's fiancee Sandy (Kathleen Wilhoite) arrives, in her wedding gown. At first they argue, but Radar realizes he does love Sandy, and they decide to get married. Father Mulcahy performs the ceremony, right then and there. In the middle of the ceremony, Sandy tells Radar that nothing happened between her and Radar's buddy.

Father Mulcahy pronounces them husband and wife, but Radar and Sandy embrace in a passionate kiss before he can finish the ceremony.

Fun Facts: There's a whole separate B-plot with Dr. Boyer, as we see him leave his cruddy, lonely apartment head over to a bar. He's lonely, but can't quite bring himself to talk to anyone, even the beautiful blonde nurse that walks in and makes eye contact with him.

Its a good storyline--dealing with the difficult readjustment some veterans had returning home--but feels odd for the show to give this much time to a brand-new character, especially when the show has other characters--Mike D'Angelo and Alma Cox--still to develop. (Although, to be fair, it does tie in with the main plot, briefly)

As of this episode, Jay O. Sanders (Dr. Pfeiffer) is gone from the opening credits, and the show. Clearly the Dr. Boyer character was brought in, and Dr. Pfeiffer was phased out.

I thought that was too bad, since I liked the character of Dr. Pfeiffer--his naive ways contrasted well with old hand Col. Potter. While Dr. Boyer is, on a gut level, a more compelling character, he's a lot more in the Hawkeye mold, which probably wasn't an accident.

Favorite Line: There's a brief discussion about the then-government policy of paying farmers not to grow food, which means after Radar's crops died, the U.S. government issued him a big check: I didn't grow corn, I didn't grow wheat. Next year I'm thinking of expanding and not getting into soybeans."

1 comment:

What the Parrot Saw said...

Naturally, the big draw here is Radar. Burghoff turns in a quite agreeable appearance, akin to how we'd imagine him to be stateside. He's not the naive, sweet Radar nor the inexplicably grumpy old man of his M*A*S*H sendoff. This being the 50s (and Radar being Ottumwa born and bred) his angst over his soon to be wife's chastity seems plausible. It's fun, but the A-plot seems a tad saccharine- an element that the spinoff never seemed to shake off entirely.

Boyer's second appearance was clearly designed to introduce him as the new major character. He's quite interesting and well-drawn- Ackroyd is given some good material to work with- but his attempted pickup of Radar's fiancee seems way too forced.

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